Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 2 with the MINI E

We're now at 47 miles on the car and a little over 50% battery power left. Of course this includes a lot of hot rod starts and zipping on and off the freeway. Love it, Love it, Love it. The braking takes some getting use to but I'm getting better. Unless someone stops suddenly in front of you you very rarely need to touch the actual brake pedal. Most of our 30 miles since yesterday have been around the Belmont Shore area where there are lots of people walking around. So far zero folks have noticed that the car is anything special. There are tons of MINI Coopers in our neighborhood and without the stickers on the side, it just looks like a regular MINI. We've ordered the stickers and it will be interesting to see if anything changes once they're applied.

Some folks have asked if the car cover in the post below comes with the MINI E and unfortunately not. It might be available for sale however.

Looking forward to hearing from other folks as the cars appear to be rolling out on a daily basis.

More to come!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

#140 has arrived :)

Picked up the car today! Can't believe we finally have it. When we arrived at Long Beach Mini, we saw the car all covered up as the picture above shows. We had a family function today so we only got to drive it a few miles. More to follow over the next few days. Car had 17 miles on it when we drove off.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Car is here!

Just got the is ready to pick up! They wanted me to come in today but I can't as I'm off to work. Appointment set for 10am tomorrow (Friday). Still awaiting Edison to finish the install of second meter. More details as I get them. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cable installed, inspection passed :)

Sunpower Electric just installed the cable and moments later the City of Long Beach, CA inspector signed off on everything. Last step will be for Edison to return to install the second meter inside the previously installed housing. See earlier post for photos. For those wondering about the cable length ours is 24' 9" measured from the bottom of the charging box to the very end of the cable plug.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

MINI E Event in Los Angeles last night

My wife and I enjoyed the Mini E event aka Meet & Greet last night at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Here are some things we learned about the car:

I'm 6' 1" and was quite comfortable sitting in it.

You can plug in your GPS, Cellphone, etc. One at a time.

It does have a mini plug to plug in an ipod, mp3 player.

The delay with the car appears to be related to getting UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approval on the charging cable. There doesn't appear to be a problem, it's just taking longer than Mini thought to get the approval.

On the turn signal arm there is a button at the end which allows you to cycle through the various charging options. If one wants to plug in to a regular wall socket (rather than use the Clipper Creek charger) all you do is use the extra cable they'll provide and choose that option by clicking the button. No dealer programming is required. I asked Dr. Anton Lesnicar, Chief Engineer of the Mini E what he thought about using this option every day when I'm at work. He thought this was a great idea and suggested I do it every day if I like.

I asked Josh from AC Propulsion, do the brake lights come on when the regenerative braking kicks in or only when I hit the brake pedal?

His answer:

"Yes, the lights are wired into the controller which measures the deceleration. When the deceleration exceeds a threshold, the lights come on. That means if you're slowing down lightly as if using engine braking, the lights do not come on. Only if the deceleration is similar to actually using the friction brakes do the lights come on. And naturally if you touch the brakes, the lights come on. "

It was wonderful having access to folks with the answers.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Edison was out today....

Edison was out today to install the second meter housing aka socket adapter. Next step will be for SunPower Electric to return to hook up the cable (see previous post for picture) to the meter housing. However, they won't return until the charging cable comes in (still awaiting UL approval according to Mini). Once they do return and complete their work, next step is for the City Of Long Beach to come by and inspect everything. Once that happens, Edison will return to put the actual meter itself inside the housing and then we're ready for the car. :)